The Weeping Willow



Taking up Reena’s Exploration Challenge #72
by Reena Saxena. Thanks for the mind prompt Reena and for introducing me to Arthur Rackham illustrations.

The Weeping Willow stood twenty feet south of the meandering stream that ran through the middle of Lord Covington’s estate. On a sunny day, in late Spring, the trees awareness was drawn to a squirrel scrambling along its branches and so he failed to notice the arrival of the young girl. She stood in front of the tree, admiring his shape and luxurious foliage, ” My, you are a handsome fellow” she exclaimed. She started climbing, nesting comfortably in his branches, about eight feet from the ground, sighing contentedly she dreamed her dreams.

She would visit the tree everyday and they quickly became old friends. Some days she would dance around the tree, on others she climbed as high as she dared, but mostly she was content to nest in his branches and dream. As she got older she loved to bring her books and sit at the tree’s base and let her imagination carry her to all kinds of adventures. She always sat alone, sheltered from the world, in her little oasis. Content.

As time went by the tree noticed a shift in the girl’s manner. She would often come to him crying and water his leaves with her tears. She would stare wistfully into space, shake her head and the tears would continue to fall. Then she stopped coming.

The cycles of the seasons turned and the Weeping Willow would change from it’s silver tinged catkins in the Spring to its glorious golden hue in the Fall. Years went by and he found his vigour and awareness diminishing. His leaves would bud later in the year and they would fall earlier. He was becoming very weary of life and then, one day, unexpectedly, she was there. Not a girl but a grown woman.

She rushed to the tree and laid her cheek against his trunk, her hands caressed his leaves. ” How I’ve missed you” she said, and once more she climbed to nest in his branches, closed her eyes and felt the trees embrace. The next day she arrived with a sharp knife and cut a branch from the willow tree. She chose a spot further down the bank of the stream and planted the branch into the rich soil. She closed her eyes and said a quick prayer for God to preserve the tree and nourish its growth. The Weeping Willow felt his awareness shift from his dying form to the freshly planted branch and the beginning of renewal. The woman visited daily nurturing the new growth on the branch and protecting it from the woodland creatures. Soon the branch was well established and started to grow quickly. The woman’s visits became less frequent but the tree continued to flourish.

And so the seasons continued to turn, a time for every purpose under heaven.

It was a bright fall day and the Weeping Willow looked his best, clothed in golden radiance. It was on that day she came to visit for the last time. She came aided by a companion who helped her to approach the tree. She smiled and held on to the tree so she wouldn’t fall. She leaned into the tree and smiled, ” My dearest love, you have been with me through all my joys and sorrows and pain, you have never deserted me, but have been my strength to lean upon, I will wait for you in Heaven”.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted. Ecclesiastes 3:1.


15 thoughts on “The Weeping Willow

  1. This is exquisitely beautiful! I like how you resisted the temptation to treat the tree as ‘human’ and give it a natural identity. The relationship between the two is also etched beautifully. The description of the pain of a branch being cut off, but awareness shifting to the new, comes close to the process of giving birth.

    Thank you so much for joining in!

    Liked by 1 person

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